Hard Work: What the Bible Says

What begins as a dislike of strenuous work can easily skyrocket into a disdain for all work.

“We are working and exerting ourselves, because we have rested our hope on a living God, who is a savior of all sorts of men, especially of faithful ones.”—1Timothy 4:10

Why is it appropriate for us to give attention to our attitude toward work?

“Take it easy.” “Don’t push yourself.”
You may have heard this often. This is how multitudes of people in our world today perceive hard work. You may have observed that, while there have always been slothful people, the dislike and aversion toward hard work seem to be growing (Proverbs 20:4; 19:24; 2Thessalonians 3:11). What begins as a dislike of strenuous work can easily skyrocket into a disdain for all work.

As Christians, it will be unrealistic to feel that we are immune when the world in general has such a pervasive attitude to work. It is important that we periodically examine our view of work. According to Bishop Oyedepo, nothing works until you work it. One of the laws of motion states that every object assumes a state of rest until a force is applied to it. Every working thing is made to work by somebody. Nothing works by itself.

Imitate Great Workers
Many sages have observed life, and this has moved them to comment on the importance of work. German statesman Karl W. Humboldt said: “Work is as much a necessity to man as eating and sleeping.” This fact gives us a reason to be productive. Many people sit down and do nothing. They reason that believing in God is a substitute for hard work. You do not have to hang around, or be at the mercy of charitable people or organizations to get by. God’s blessing cannot just drop out of the sky. It is the work of your hands that God will act upon to bring blessings and prosperity into your life.

One cannot keep claiming the promises of God and quoting the Scriptures relating to abundance and a good life without working. This will amount to nothing.

According to Proverbs 14:23, “There is profit in labour.”
Let us observe the whole universe—from the awesome thermonuclear sun to the delicate flowers. They all testify that God is a worker. All his awesome creations are his “works.” His son Jesus Christ is also a hard worker. He left behind his carpentry work in a Galilean town and travelled hundreds of kilometres over hot, dusty roads to help people—to heal, to preach, to teach (Matthew 4:17, 23-25).
Now we know that neither God nor Jesus have a take-it-easy attitude. Jesus stated: “My father has kept working until now, and I keep working.” (John 5:17)

Work plays a great role in determining a person’s worth in life. Without work, one could be regarded as worthless. It is time to stop wishing and start working. Success does not come by accident; it is an adventure undertaken by those who desire it. One cannot just wake up and become great overnight, without hard work.

The Bible admonishes us to be conscientious and diligent in our secular work in order to earn life’s necessities (Proverbs 10:4; 22:29). That should be true with everything we do. The apostle Paul wrote: “Whatever you are doing, work at it whole-souled as to God, and not to men, for you know that it is from God you will receive the due reward of the inheritance.” —Colossians 3:23, 24

Be Industrious
Industrious people do not shy away from work. Rather, they enjoy working hard to provide for their personal needs and to help others—even if their work is not an easy one.

Proverbs 6:10-11 says “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest” causes poverty and lack in a person’s life. Like it or not, life is full of responsibilities. In a world where many detest working hard, being industrious puts you at an advantage (Ecclesiastes 3:13).
When you work hard, you get a sense of satisfaction. So, you see, it is not all that bad.
The Bible says, “There is benefit in every kind of hard work.”—Proverbs 14:23
You can cultivate a positive view of work by taking pride in learning to do things well. Proverbs 22:29 says, “Have you seen a man skillful at his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before common men.”

Always see the bigger picture. In most cases, when you perform your responsibilities well, you benefit others.  You may, for example, lighten the load of others in your family. According to Acts 20:35, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”

Go the extra mile. Instead of doing just what is required of you, go the extra mile to do more. In this way, you are in control of your life. Do this, not because you are being forced to, but because you choose to.—Matthew 5:41. Philemon 14 says, “Your good deed may be done, not under compulsion, but of your own free will.”

Maintain balance. You can find balance in your life by not being lazy and not being a workaholic. You can find enjoyment both in hard work and in periods of rest. “Better is a handful of rest than two handfuls of hard work and chasing after the wind.” —Ecclesiastes 4:6

By: Olaide Ekunsumi

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